Approximately half of the world’s population has access to the Internet. And thanks to technology advancements and globalization, innovation can happen anywhere. Innovators around the globe have access to key ingredients of innovation and are hungry to make a difference for themselves, their families, communities, cities, countries or humanity in general. Like dandelion seeds in a high wind, innovation has been scattered globally and taken root like an invasive species.
Here in the United States, many of us don’t appreciate how dramatic of a shift this truly is, nor do we necessarily fathom how a leveled playing field will spur innovation globally. During some recent research, it was apparent that global innovation has already taken off and that innovators are solving problems and creating products. Whether it’s a person, a small group of people, or companies, innovators of the world are no longer constrained by traditional borders.
For brevity, during my research noticeable areas of change, were the spin up of freelancers worldwide. They might be consultants or gig based laborers, but they are no longer constrained to a traditional employer/employee model. These entrepreneurs are enabled by the support mechanisms of prosperity (education, healthcare, opportunities, e-commerce and monetary systems) to succeed in the world where the future of work appears to be headed toward opportunity based engagements.
The most devastating threats to the American way of life may well be our pride, failure to understand how critical education will be, and growing protectionist views. If we are to stay on the leading edge, we must ensure that we foster the vibrant growth of innovation and eliminate any barriers that might dissuade it!
Look no further that a window, those phone/cable lines are examples of legacy technologies that hang around. While we may utilize one to access the Internet in our homes, the other is dying. We now have full Internet access on our mobile devices. As unlimited data becomes ubiquitous, the question soon will be “why do we still have a DSL/Cable connection?” We must prevent legacy items from slowing us down.
Make no mistake; American ingenuity is being challenged more with each passing day. Anything that might discourage entrepreneurship must be eliminated to ensure that our American ingenuity continues with a leadership position. As you look around the world, it is very clear that the seeds of innovation are already growing rapidly.
GE, Spend Matters, and Catalant discuss talent in a changing world in this Oct 2016 YouTube Audio Webinar. How GE Is Preparing For The Future Of Work
Some of the numbers referenced are surprising. Two of the numbers that stood out to me and highlight the challenges were the eighty-eights.
Some companies still focus on addressing or fixing weaknesses instead of leveraging the strengths of their best resources. The On-Demand model helps to solve this problem by eliminating the annual review process. Experts become suppliers of services and are now accountable for ensuring that their customer(s) are satisfied all the time. They are motivated because they enjoy delivering the services they offer. When they desire to offer new services, they must gain expertise and then add it to their portfolio of services available.
The vision of transforming organizations by leveraging flexible On-Demand expertise in the future of work was a key reason for launching FEXasaS.com.
In today’s world, many businesses are stressed by the yelpification of their services and the glassdoorification of their salaries, benefits, and leadership styles. Many are also faced with unprecedented pressures to transform their businesses, to prepare for new disruptive competitors, or existing competitors gaining capabilities. These issues are further complicated by rapidly evolving digital technologies and the coming of AI.
As we enter 2017, hiring the best and the brightest has become a necessity to ensure viability. Competitive pressures are also being complicated by shortages of highly skilled individuals. In 2017, training programs will be more critical than ever, but salaries must be reviewed and adjusted, as new skills are mastered. Employers must also maintain a healthy work/life balance to prevent the malaise and discontent that develops when turnover rates become too high.
The days of employer/employee loyalty have long since passed. Today if we see a resume where an employee has stayed at a company for more than five years, we must ascertain if the candidate was advancing, or it might be a red flag. Many of us have also seen resumes where candidates change jobs as frequently as automobiles are traded.
Businesses need to tap into broad-based knowledge and skills using an On-demand model. This would help drive innovation, and facilitate revenue growth, while maintaining lean principles. Managers at all levels have a difficult time focusing and allocating enough attention to assigned tasks, let alone new ones that pop up. Valuable tasks must be automated whenever possible. Eventually, even the best and brightest may become overwhelmed, but not want to admit it.
Fractional managers have proven expertise and can serve as a trusted advisor to help businesses navigate short-term challenges. Fractional managers can assist companies in developing key players, balancing workloads when growth accelerates, or as big projects launch. They can also provide valuable skills in areas where they might be lacking or still developing.
Temporarily filling a vacant position when a manager unexpectedly gives notice can also be a healthy way to transition roles and discern if any changes might improve productivity. This interim approach also alleviates the inherent desire to fill a management vacancy rapidly. Interim managers can also assist with the transition by augmenting knowledge as needed. Once fractional managers are integrated, they can provide strategic input when others are too busy to brainstorm. Fractional managers can assist when a full-time position is not yet warranted.
The profile of a fractional manager is someone who prides themselves on being knowledgeable on a broad array of topics and is skilled at researching, comparing, selecting, implementing, and measuring. It is something that might be wired in their DNA. They thoroughly enjoy learning and consolidating information from multiple perspectives, and then balancing it with known outcomes to expand their depth and breadth of knowledge.
#FractionalMgmt, #FutureofWork, #GigEconomy
Our president-elect has proposed to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. Independent contractors and persons who receive partnership income or income from S corporations will benefit from the proposed lower tax rates.
These forces will cause dramatic changes in the traditional employer/employee business model as it undergoes an evolutionary shift to the Gig Economy model. Senior managers and executives will be incentivized to work as consultants and independent contractors to earn their income through their own S corporations, partnerships, or sole-proprietorships at the proposed 15 percent tax rate.
While change is always difficult, the advantage for adopting this model for employers will be enormous. Gig service providers of this type will have a depth of knowledge across their expertise in multiple industries, to retain customers. They will also be incentivized to stay current on business trends and take it upon themselves to embrace a life of learning. Leveraging this model will also change the employee overhead cost model, as Gig service providers will take care of benefits and incentive plans.
Changing service providers has fewer ramifications than replacing employees, so it will be interesting to see how this paradigm shift impacts traditional human resources departments. Confidentiality and Noncompete language can be structured into SLA's once expertise and trust have been established.
#FractionalMgmt #GigEconomy #FutureofWork
Think of FEX as talent “On Demand” or talent “as-a-Service”. No long-term agreements, no crazy consulting rates, just “rent” proven expertise, leaders and highly skilled professionals.
After retiring from a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider this spring, I dedicated myself to carefully contemplate my next move. A good friend of mine recommended taking time to play golf, get some overdue projects completed and in general to just take a break and enjoy life for a while. He had an employment break about five years before and a senior level buddy of his had recommended that he enjoy the time off. His buddy advised him that things would get crazy when he re-engaged; my friend said it was the best summer of his life.
As I began contemplating and researching business and technology trends over the summer, I tried to determine which future trends might develop into opportunities that I would enjoy. I am very fortunate and have always been blessed to have incredible jobs. NOTE: I took a few swings at crazy opportunities with companies like Google and other key businesses. Nothing ended up fitting, but would have regretted not trying!
As my research continued, a number of themes kept surfacing and I began to see emerging trends. The terms Disruption, Innovation, Digital, Transformation, AI and Fintech, were widespread and blanketed news feeds. Consultancies were awash in generating interesting content on those topics. However; there are also articles stating that the consultancy world is being disrupted or ripe for disruption. In the later case, an underlying theme that emerged was Freelance, the “Gig Economy” and the “Future of Work”.
In the digital world, businesses need to be both innovative and disruptive. It’s interesting that those promoting these concepts are themselves being disrupted by a different employer/employee model, to the point that they are considering whether to disrupt themselves from within (intrapreneur) or acquire an innovative disruptor. It appeared to me, that linking these universes would create an innovative leap across many industries.
As I researched how other countries are innovating, the same themes surfaced, but they appear to be moving fast and trying to leverage these concepts as a basis for rapid disruptive innovation. The term freelance is everywhere in the UK and the terms interim and fractional are beginning to spring to life in Europe.
It’s also becoming clearer that here in the United States our employment model is also being challenged by the likes of Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, etc. In the States, constrained industries like Healthcare have already widely adopted Interim positions. Maybe the entrepreneurial society is closer than we think.
If the job market continues to tighten and our experienced baby boomers continue to retire, I foresee opportunities for those who at any age are willing to adopt the #Freelance, #GigEconomy or #FutureofWork model. Some will do it to stay busy, while others will adopt this model to increase their personal net worth and increase the level of adventure.
The number of highly experienced baby boomers that I’ve met, who are saying that they would love to stay engaged and do some work (gigs) when they retire, has been incredible. I’ve also been fortunate to meet with some incredibly talented younger professionals, who are interested in this model and like the idea of working for multiple companies as an entrepreneur instead of relying on one company.
FEX’s initial goal is to become a skills broker for highly experienced leaders who dislike or don’t want to market themselves and to become another local channel for highly skilled professionals.
Please share you thoughts on how you see these forces coming together and evolving?
Oh, future BLOG’s will be much shorter!
#FractionalMgmt #GigEconomy #FutureofWork
Bruce Cox believes that hiring the most talented and diverse individuals is the key to success. True innovations happen once trust develops and we commingle the strengths of our best resources.